Sport: Leclerc refuses to make 'silly comments' over Ferrari team orders - PressFrom - United Kingdom

SportLeclerc refuses to make 'silly comments' over Ferrari team orders

13:45  15 april  2019
13:45  15 april  2019 Source:

Bahrain GP: Hamilton wins as long-time leader Leclerc loses power

Bahrain GP: Hamilton wins as long-time leader Leclerc loses power Lewis Hamilton claimed an unlikely victory in a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix, as Ferrari's race imploded spectacularly with an engine problem for Charles Leclerc and a spin for Sebastian Vettel . Leclerc recovered from a poor first lap to dominate the race, before an MGU-H failure robbed his engine of power and left him limping to the finish. Hamilton's Mercedes closed rapidly on the ailing Ferrari and claimed the lead on the run to the final corner with just 10 laps to go.

A frustrated Charles Leclerc sought clarity on Ferrari 's team orders after Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix in which the Monegasque finished fifth. But a call from the Ferrari pit wall ordered the 21-year-old to move over for Vettel who was deemed faster. I don't want to make any silly comments before that."

Leclerc passed Vettel at the start for third place, but was made to move aside for his teammate on Lap 11 as Ferrari looked to stop the leading Ferrari had previously said it would look to give the more experienced Vettel the priority over Leclerc in the early part of the season should the situation arise.

Leclerc refuses to make 'silly comments' over Ferrari team orders © Charles Coates/Getty Images Sport F1 Grand Prix of China

Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari’s decision to put him on a long second stint to aid Sebastian Vettel’s chances of catching Valtteri Bottas was the “right thing” to do.

Leclerc managed to jump Vettel off the line and ran third behind the Mercedes in the early phase before being asked to move aside for his team-mate.

To compound the Monegasque’s misery, Red Bull pitted Max Verstappen early which allowed them to undercut Leclerc after the first round of pitstops.

After dropping to fifth, Ferrari opted to extend his second stint but left him out too long to catch and repass Verstappen in the closing stages on fresh tyres.

Leclerc: 'Unfortunately today was not our day'

Leclerc: 'Unfortunately today was not our day' Charles Leclerc was denied his first Formula 1 victory in Bahrain after an engine problem saw him fall from the lead to third in the dying stages. Starting from pole position, Leclerc lost out to Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas on the first lap. With more pace than either Bottas and Vettel, he quickly found his way back to the lead and had a commanding lead before the first round of pitstops. Leading for much of the race, a MGU-H failure saw his straight line speed reduced by 30kph, allowing both Lewis Hamilton and Bottas ahead.

Ferrari insist they were not trying to hamper Charles Leclerc ’s race by ordering him to let Sebastian Vettel past in the Chinese GP. Ferrari have come under fire over team orders .Source:AFP. Vettel was unable to pull away from his I don’t want to make any silly comments . “Anyway it’s passed.

Ferrari team principle Mattia Binotto accepts Charles Leclerc would have the "right to be upset" after being ordered to let teammate Sebastian Vettel past at the Chinese Grand Prix. Leclerc struggled for pace in Shanghai and, despite twice sounding reluctant to follow team orders when communicating

“I mean, if you look my own race, I think obviously we would have pitted earlier,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

“If you look the team’s race, I think they did the right thing trying to slow down the Mercedes for Seb to come back, which was, I believe, the target.

“It didn’t work but that was the target, at least we tried and we look forward now.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was forced to clarify post-race that the team order was not intended to benefit Vettel alone, but understood if Leclerc felt aggrieved given his result.

Leclerc refused to criticise the team’s decision to order him aside to let Vettel through but expects an explanation to understand the “full picture”.

“With Seb, I need to understand the full picture, to see the full picture, to speak with the engineers and understand the decision,” he said.

“I’m pretty sure there’s an explanation behind this decision and I will understand it.

“Anyway, it’s past. It has not been a great race for me, but overall the weekend I’ve not been as strong as I wanted.

“Qualifying was OK, but FP1, FP2, FP3 and going into the race without any mileage on the high-fuel runs was not ideal.

“Overall today was not a good day, but we’ll come back stronger.”

Bottas wins in Azerbaijan, Mercedes earns record breaking one-two.
Valtteri Bottas edged team-mate Lewis Hamilton to take victory and the Formula 1 championship lead at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as Mercedes sealed a fourth consecutive one-two finish. Mercedes has become the first team in history to open a season with four one-twos, with Bottas becoming the first driver to win from pole in 2019. Successfully fending off Hamilton as the two ran side by side through the first two corners, Bottas was able to keep his team-mate at arms length throughout the majority of the race. Hamilton did manage to close up in the closing stages, edging to within DRS range late on.

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